Gunmen killed an appeals court judge as he headed to work in the western Baghdad district of Mansour on Monday, police and the deputy justice minister said.
Amir Jawdat al-Naeib, a high-ranking judge at the appeals court and a member of the Supreme Judicial Council, was ambushed by gunmen in two cars as he was being driven to work from his home in Mansour, police and Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said, according to the AP. His driver also died.
Meanwhile, seven Iraqi policemen died when a house apparently rigged with explosives blew up north of Baghdad on Monday, police said. The police had entered the house to conduct a search, police said, according to Reuters. The explosion took place in the town of Buhriz in Diyala province.
In another development, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayypi Erdogan said Monday he cannot predict when his country's offensive against Kurdish guerrillas in neighboring Iraq, which started in mid-December, will end. "We hope that this fight against terrorism will end soon but we don't know how much longer it will last," Erdogan told journalists in Madrid, where he was meeting Monday with Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
"In Afghanistan there are foreign forces fighting against terrorism and they also can't say how long they will have to be there." According to AFP, Erdogan said Turkey's sole aim was to eliminate the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK rebels, who have their bases in the mountainous terrain of northern Iraq, adding every effort was being made to spare civilians. Some 4,000 "terrorists" were being trained in the region, he estimated.